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Pregnancy Nutrition

Pregnancy Nutrition

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What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby’s main source of nourishment. So, experts recommend that a mother-to-be choose a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.

Key pregnancy nutrition

A pregnant woman needs more calcium, folic acid, iron and protein than a woman who is not expecting, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Here is why these four nutrients are important.

Folic acid, also known as folate when the nutrient is found in foods, is a B vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects. It may be hard to get the recommended amount of folic acid from diet alone.

Folic Acid : Food sources: leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, breads and pastas, beans, citrus fruits. 

Calcium is a mineral used to build a baby’s bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the mineral will be drawn from the mother’s stores in her bones and given to the baby to meet the extra demands of pregnancy, .

Pregnant women age 19 and over need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day;

Calcium : Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, sardines or salmon with bones, some leafy greens (kale, bok choy).

Iron: Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not expecting, Additional amounts of the mineral are needed to make more blood to supply the baby with oxygen. Getting too little iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia, a condition resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of infections. 

To increase the absorption of iron, include a good source of vitamin C at the same meal when eating iron-rich foods, have a glass of orange juice at br; eakfast with an iron-fortified cereal. 

Iron : Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.

Protein: More protein is needed during pregnancy, but most women don’t have problems getting enough protein-rich foods in their diets,  It is described protein as “a builder nutrient,” because it helps to build important organs in the baby, such as the brain and heart.

Protein: Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu.

Weight gain during pregnancy 

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines for total weight gain during a full-term pregnancy recommend that:

Supplied by BMI Calculator India

  • Underweight women, who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 18.5, should gain 28 to 40 lbs. (12.7 to 18 kilograms).
  • Normal weight women, who have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, should gain 25 to 35 lbs. (11.3 to 15.8 kg).
  • Overweight women, who have a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9, should gain 15 to 25 lbs. (6.8 to 11.3 kg).
  • Obese women, who have a BMI of 30.0 and above, should gain 11 to 20 lbs. (5 to 9 kg).

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